ENOSIS

by: Christopher Cranch (1813-1892)

THOUGHT is deeper than all speech,
Feeling deeper than all thought;
Souls to souls can never teach
What unto themselves was taught.

We are spirits clad in veils;
Man by man was never seen;
All our deep communing fails
To remove the shadowy screen.

Heart to heart was never known;
Mind with mind did never meet;
We are columns left alone,
Of a temple once complete.

Like the stars that gem the sky,
Far apart, though seeming near,
In our light we scattered lie;
All is thus but starlight here.

What is social company
But a babbling summer stream?
What our wise philosophy
But the glancing of a dream?

Only when the sun of love
Melts the scattered stars of thought;
Only when we live above
What the dim-eyed world hath taught;

Only when our souls are fed
By the Fount which gave them birth,
And by inspiration led,
Which they never drew from earth,

We like parted drops of rain
Swelling till they meet and run,
Shall be all absorbed again,
Melting, flowing into one.

 

Wolfpen Creek
by: James Still

How it was in that place, how light hung in a bright pool
Of air like water, in an eddy of cloud and sky,
I will long remember. I will long recall
The maples blossoming wings, the oaks proud with rule,

The spiders deep in silk, the squirrels fat on mast,
The fields and draws and coves where quail and peewees call.
Earth loved more than any earth, stand firm, hold fast;
Trees burdened with leaf and bird, root deep, grow tall.

Artistic Essence

“This very essence of a man, his soul, which the artist puts into his work and which is represented by it, is found again in the work by the enjoyer, just as the believer finds his soul in religion or in God, with whom he feels himself to be one. It is on this identity of the spiritual, which underlies the concept of collective religion, and not on a psychological identification with the artist, that the pleasurable effect of the work of art ultimately depends, and the effect is, in this sense, one of deliverance….But both [artist and enjoyer], in the simultaneous dissolution of their individuality in a greater whole, enjoy, as a high pleasure, the personal enrichment of that individuality through this feeling of oneness. They have yielded up their mortal ego for a moment, fearlessly and even joyfully, to receive it back in the next, the richer for this universal feeling. “

–Otto Rank,  Art and Artist, 1932, p. 109-110.

 

Projection

“The richer–that is, the more varied and complete–the individual’s emotional life, the less is he driven to projection, and the more will he incline to identification. His outlet and satisfaction comes in identifying himself with the emotions of the other. On the other hand, the narrower and more restricted the individual’s emotional life, the more intense will be his fewer emotions, the less will he be inclined to, and capable of, identification–the lack of which he has to compensate for by projection. Projection thus proves to be a compensatory mechanism that adjusts for an inner lack. Identification, on the other hand, is an expression of abundance, of the desire for union, for alliance, for sharing. “

– Otto Rank, “Love, Guilt and the Denial of Feelings,” 1927, American Lectures, 160

This quote embodies my philosophy, my intentions, my behavior and aims when I interact with others. Love. Union. Emotional variegation.

Identify with others. Rather than forcefully projecting yourself onto the world and others, learn to subjugate the ego and merge with another. This is why I stress the importance of philosophy in teaching the value of understanding and comprehension, all of which facilitates a sympathy to ideas and people.

The Nature of Artists

It’s been a long while since I’ve read a passage that resonates with my soul as powerfully as this passage does:

But fortunately, artists do not have to be morally admirable people. All that matters is that they create great art. If his own art is to come out of the more contemptible side of himself, so be it. Flowers grow best on dung heaps, as Shakespeare never tires of saying. Even Henry Miller, who presents himself as a straightforward fellow, ready to make love to any woman no matter her shape or size, probably has a dark side which he is prudent enough to conceal.

Normal people find it hard to be bad. Normal people, when they feel badness flare up within them, drink, swear, commit violence. Badness is to them like a fever: they want it out of their system, they want to go back to being normal. But artists have to live with their fever, whatever its nature, good or bad. The fever is what makes them artists; the fever must be kept alive. That is why artist can never be wholly present to the world; one eye has always to be turned inward. As for women who flock after artists, they cannot wholly be trusted. For just as the spirit of the artist is both flame and fever, so the woman who yearns to be licked by tongues of flame will at the same time do her best to quench the fever and bring down the artist to common ground. Therefore women have to be resisted even when they are loved. They cannot be allowed close enough to the flame to nip it out.

—YOUTH, by J. M. Coetzee